And so once more The Doctor and the TARDIS return in what is now either season 3 or 29, depending on how you look at it. The first episode, titled Smith and Jones, is the first offering … so was it any good? How does the show fare without the tongue acrobatics of Rose?
As you might expect, the basis of the episode was the set up the new companion – Martha Jones. While the episode doesn’t exactly dwell on this, it still does act as a focus nonetheless. First thoughts … well, to be shallow … Martha Jones is certainly easier on the eye than Rose was. However, her supporting cast (the family) seems to be rather dubious. Here’s hoping they don’t play nearly a big as role in things as Rose’s did.
Season 27’s running them was Bad Wolf, this one already seems to be Saxon– who seems to be some sort of politician. Perhaps the Master? It sounds like a name he might use.
Anyhow, on to the plot! The Doctor apparently finds evidence of plasma coils around a hospital in London and admits himself as a patient to look into it. Why he chose a patient is a good question; with his psychic paper he would easily have achieved freer movement throughout the building as an administration worker, Doctor or even some form of government inspector. It may have also have been a good idea to park the TARDIS inside the building somewhere instead of out in the street.
The Hospital gets teleported to the Moon by alien police-for-hire which is fair enough for them. If something you want to look at isn’t in your jurisdiction then you simply move it so that it is. The aliens, when they first appeared, undoubtedly made viewers of the old series think of The Sontarans. And, really, it could have been a very logical progression for that species. If they happened to have lost their war against the Rutons then changing their racial occupation to freelance peacekeepers would have made sense.
The Rhino aliens storm about the Hospital looking for a wanted criminal alien, scanning and marking Humans as they go. Nice and professional if a tad heavy handed in approach. Still, it was a good plan to stop the suspect fleeing. To cut a 40 minute story short … the Doctor finds the criminal first and she drinks his blood with a straw, just about killing him. The rhino aliens come in at that point, detect the alien and disintegrate her without much fuss.
Then everything is wrapped up neatly as the alien police return the building to Earth. Martha then goes to a family party where the Doctor finds her and pretty much drags her along after showing her the inside of the TARDIS – saying that she gets one and only one trip as a thankyou for her efforts on the Moon.
Smith and Jones was fairly decent, though it could have benefited from some script tweaking. It was certainly better than the starting episode of the previous season New Earth and better still than Rose. Next up … Shakespeare and witchcraft!
Some notes about the episode:
Time Lords, it seems, are immune to the effects of radiation. The Doctor can simply absorb and expel it at will, though the feeling doesn’t seem very pleasant. Yet it was radiation that ended the 3rd Doctor’s life in Planet of the Spiders.
Drained of blood, the Doctor was scanned and declared dead by the Rhino aliens. Yet if he was dead, why didn’t the regeneration process start to kick in? Was the scan wrong or not sensitive enough? Was the Doctor merely in a recuperative coma while his body shut down to produce blood quickly?